Finland plans to block entry for asylum seekers through Russia

Finland plans to block entry for asylum seekers through Russia

Finland plans to adopt temporary legislation that will allow border authorities to stop asylum seekers trying to enter its territory from Russia.

This was reported by Reuters, Ukrinform reports.

Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo said that the proposed bill would be sent out for comments and then submitted to parliament. He added that Finland "has become a target of instrumentalized migration," and the Russian authorities "not only did not intervene, but even contributed to it."

Read also: Minister of Defense of Finland: Funds to support military equipment in Ukraine must be found immediately

Some asylum seekers in the EU continue to arrive at the Finnish border from Russia, and the government believes that their number may increase significantly in the spring. In a statement, the Finnish Interior Ministry said that the country "must be prepared for Russia to exert long-term pressure".

According to Yle, the law will be temporary and will be in effect for one year after its entry into force.

Orpo assured that the government's goal is to normalize traffic on the eastern border, but due to Russia's actions, this is currently impossible.

Finnish Interior Minister Mari Rantanen, for her part, noted that under the new law, border guards, for example, will be able to send asylum seekers to apply elsewhere.

The Interior Minister also noted that the borders with Russia are unlikely to open in April.

Read also: Europe must help Ukraine prevail to tackle Russia’s existential threat - Finland PM

In February, Rantanen said that the authorities had information that there were thousands of people on the Russian side waiting for a chance to get to Finland.

As Ukrinform reported, at the end of last year, Finland closed all crossing points on its 1,340-kilometer border with Russia due to the growing number of arrivals who did not have valid documents to enter the EU.

Photo: Juha Kemppainen / Yle

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